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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2008 Feb;157(2):127-36. Epub 2007 Nov 17.

Haemozoin formation.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch, South Africa.


Formation of malaria pigment or haemozoin is the major route of haem detoxification in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum as well as several other species of haematophagous organisms, including other Plasmodium species, helminth worms such as Schistosoma mansoni and blood-sucking insects such as Rhodnius prolixus. Recent advances in our understanding of the formation of haemozoin, both from new observations that it is formed within lipid bodies in P. falciparum and S. mansoni and biomimetic studies on the formation of its synthetic counterpart beta-haematin are reviewed. The review also covers methods available for screening compounds for their ability to inhibit beta-haematin formation.

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